How to Hide or Unhide All Desktop Icons on Windows

How to Hide or Unhide All Desktop Icons on Windows

A Windows 10 desktop with no desktop icons

There may be times when you might want to quickly show a clean desktop by hiding all the icons. If you want to hide or unhide the desktop icons, or if your Desktop icons are not showing in Windows 10/8/7, then this post is sure to help you. 

 If you like a clean desktop, Windows can be a little obnoxious. Many programs you install will automatically add their own desktop icon, so you’ll be constantly deleting them. Skip the hassle and hide all your desktop icons instead.

If you’re using a PC with an empty desktop, this option will also let you re-enable all those hidden icons.

To hide or unhide all your desktop icons, right-click on your desktop, point to “View,” and click “Show Desktop Icons.” This option works on Windows 10, 8, 7, and even XP. This option toggles desktop icons on and off.

Hiding or showing all desktop icons on Windows

That’s it! This option is easy to find and use—if you know it’s there.

RELATED: How to Disable File Thumbnails on Windows 10

Windows also lets you hide its built-in desktop icons, like “This PC,” “Network,” and “Recycle Bin.” If those are still missing—or if you’d like to hide those icons but not the rest of your desktop icons—you’ll need to control which desktop icons appear in the Settings app or Control Panel.

The Windows Desktop Icon Settings dialog

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Lucila is a freelance writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to study new things. She enjoys checking out the latest grammar books and writing about video games more than anything else. If she's not running through Colorado’s breathtaking landscape, she's indoors hidden away in her cozy game room trolling noobs and leveling up an RPG character. She is a Final Fantasy IX apologist (although she loves them all… except XV), coffee aficionado, and a bit of a health nut. Lucila graduated from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing.

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